The harmful feelings about homosexuality are all around us. They are present in our schools, businesses, communities, and homes. They are harmful towards homosexuals as well as heterosexuals. Students use harmful words to express these feelings towards other students in their school. They don’t think about the adverse effects of these words towards other students. Students use common stereotypes and prejudices to fuel their feelings about homosexuality. They will label someone as gay if they do the slightest thing that is a part of this stereotype. The students who are exposed to this kind of verbal harassment feel excluded and lonely. I am a sophomore at my high school that has been exposed to this type of situation. I feel angry when my friends call me gay when I do something they think is “gay.” Even though I am used to this type of situation, I still feel like there should be something done. I admit that I have called some of my friends and other people I know gay, but I try to control myself and call something stupid instead of using the word gay. If at least a few people or a group of people refrained from using the word gay, there would be lasting effects on their surroundings. This would allow them to get to know more people for who they are and not by the stereotype they may be labeled by. Also, this would help decrease the amount of teen suicides related to teen depression and bullying. I realize now I don’t have to call something gay around my friends to make myself feel like I’m being cool. I hope that someday our society will look past stereotypes and learn to overcome each others differences and try and find commonalities between us.
Adverse Effects of the Homosexual Stereotype
April 5, 2011